Once while the great violinist, Fritz Kreisler, had several hours to spend between trains, he went into a music store. He laid his violin case (which had his name on it) on the counter. The storekeeper, seeing the name, thought that the violin had been stolen, so he called the police.
When the police arrived, they started to arrest Kreisler, thinking he was a thief. Kreisler insisted that he was no thief but was the real Fritz Kreisler. Finally, he asked the storekeeper if he had one of Kreisler’s recordings. He did have, and the record was played. After the record finished playing, Kreisler opened the violin case, removed the instrument and played the same piece. Hearing the beautiful music, the storekeeper and the policemen knew that this was, indeed, the real Kreisler. His performance proved his profession!
Similarly, we profess to be Christians…but do we prove it by our performance?
It is not what we eat that makes us strong—it is what we digest. It is not what we earn that makes us rich—but what we save. It is not what we read that makes us wise—but what we remember. And it is not what we say—but what we live—that makes us Christians! Yet often times our Christianity is exhausted in mere profession.
Christian living is that state of being in Christ and Christ being in us. We enter Christ by being baptized into Him (Galatians 3:27). We then are to walk in Him, being rooted and built up in Him (Colossians 2:6-7). Christ abides in us. “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Christian living is also living like Christ—living so that others may be able to see Christ in us. We are to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). We are to follow His example (1 Peter 2:21) By so doing we will be changed into His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Truly, then, will others be able to see Christ in us. Such is Christian living.
Nothing is as potent in building a better community or church than Christian living (1 Peter 3: 1ff). And on the contrary, nothing is quite so detrimental to the cause of the Lord as a professed Christian not “living up to it.” In such cases, one becomes a stumbling block
To each is given a set of tools,
A shapeless mass and a book of rules,
And each must build, ere life is flown,
A stumbling-block or a stepping stone.
A blind man made it a practice to carry a lighted lantern with him everywhere he went. When someone asked him why he went around with a lighted lantern when he could not see, he replied, “To keep others from stumbling over me.”
What a wonderful attitude! Let us, by our Christian living, be stepping stones—not stumbling blocks.
WOULD I BE CALLED A CHRISTIAN?
Would I be called a Christian if everybody knew
My secret thoughts and feelings and everything I do?
Oh, would they see the likeness of Christ in me each day?
Oh, would they hear Him speaking in every word I say?
Would I be called a Christian if everyone could know
That I am found in places where Jesus would not go?
Oh, would they hear His echo in every song I sing,
In eating, drinking, dressing would they see Christ in me?
Would I be called a Christian if judged by what I read?
By all my recreations and every thought and deed?
Would I be counted Christ-like as I now work and pray?
Unselfish, kind, forgiving to others every day?